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Navajo Nation Head Start Will Receive a Major Boost in 2014


The Navajo Nation plans to add nearly two dozen new service centers to their Head Start education program over the course of this new year. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Twenty new service centers are planned for the Window Rock-based program. Head Start officials say it’s part of a large-scale restructuring that’s been in the works for nearly a year. According to the Navajo-Hopi Observer, a recent report submitted to the Health, Education and Human Services Committee states Navajo Nation Head Start has long had a shortage of certified staff. The report also says the program is in need of curriculum improvement as well as building maintenance and more transportation.

Overall, 90 buildings will be used as classrooms and for teacher housing on the Navajo Nation in both Arizona and New Mexico.

Head Start offers a variety of services for children including early education, medical and nutrition services and programs for mental health. There are currently four Head Start locations on the Navajo Nation.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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